Raconteur Media (@raconteurmedia) recently published an informative insert for The Times of London. Going Global focused on UK exporters and exporting issues from their perspective.
Despite that focus, many of the messages and lessons are directly applicable to US SMEs which are often similarly hesitant to tackle export challenges. See links below to read the report in its entirety. Below is a digest of some particularly relevant points:
- on exporting fears, risks and challenges "The most foolhardy option would be to do nothing." Nick Baird, CEO, UK Trade & Investment
- "The only way to build exports is to get on a plane and eyeball people." Will King (@kingofshaves), Founder, King of Shaves and successful exporter
- regarding product and marketing localization "even if a product is essentially the same across a range of domestic markets, it is often necessary to adapt the advertising message in line with local culture and preferences" and "that's not to say you can't tweak the product." Allyson Stewart-Allen (@museofmarketing), Founder, International Marketing Partners
- As BRICs mature, consider N-11 markets. Vietnam, Turkey, Poland and Mexico worth considering. "When it comes to the N-11 countries there is always the macro arguments of large populations and growing wealth, but it's important to look at micro factors such as what direction is the government, be it national or local, taking and what is it asking for." Will Butler-Adams (@will_brompton), Managing Director, Brompton Bicycles
- Social networks are key to penetrating export markets - but the networks can vary dramatically based on the market and demographic. It isn't just language - it's picking the right platform and using it correctly. Marketing localization is key.
- Credit Insurance complements L/Cs - "Payment terms need to reflect as much as possible what is expected in the destination country, as well as your customer's cash flow or budget." Susan Ross, Director, Aon Trade Credit
- "Such volatility can mean the difference between operating profitably or making a serious loss" Michael McGowan, UK Regional Director, Firma FX
- Ian Thurgood, MD, Wilkin & Sons on expectations "Exporting is definitely a long-term play. Don't rush into it. Do your homework and get to understand the market first. Go there and build relationships."
The entire report can be downloaded here or read online here.
US companies considering launching an export initiative or eager to improve their global business development should contact Consilium to explore how we can help.